“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Elliot
I am a strong advocate that real progress happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. This could be in your work life, social life, and even fitness routine. Let's take exercise- if you walk or run at the same speed, at the same incline, every single day, you can't expect to see a difference in your physical body. So the key is to step it up. Dream big. Set those “challenging goals”. Only then will you leave your comfort zone, face your challenges and reach a step further than what you are used to.
So go ahead, make a list of 5 “challenging goals” that you would like to achieve by the end of 2017. List things you have never done before, try things that are unusual to you, and inevitably teach your brain and body something new.
How will I benefit from this?
Break your routine
Do you ever feel like you are stuck doing the same thing day after day? Eating the same food, seeing the same people, driving the same route, going to the same places? Well it can be mundane. Sometimes it's necessary for us to change our usual habits and experience new situations. Life can be far more exciting if you constantly challenge yourself in new and interesting ways. Set your goals and break out of your daily routine. You'll start to live a full and joyous life.
The more you challenge yourself, the more opportunity you have to try and succeed. And the more you succeed the more confidence you will have in yourself and your abilities. Imagine writing down your goal, and going back and with your pen poised, crossing it off, your self esteem will be at an all time high. As a result, when the next challenge comes along, you will be eager to face it head on. By having greater confidence in yourself, you will also have higher standards in terms of what to expect from yourself and those around you. Others will notice this and in admiration, show you more respect.
By setting challenges you will be more active both mentally and physically. Your attention and thoughts will be on achieving your goal instead of trivial things. Try to always have something going that tests you, and makes you wonder if you are actually going to be able to push through and achieve it. This could be a project at work, learning a new skill, or running that extra mile on the treadmill.
Dealing with Life
The more you train yourself to have the willpower to push through every situation, whether good or bad, the more resourceful you will be when faced with the curve balls life will throw at you. Let's face it, we've all had those curve balls. Setting goals, giving yourself the time and acting on them will only mean it's upwards and onwards.
Setting "challenging goals" doesn't only help you enhance your skills and knowledge, it will also help you grow as a person. You will never be able to reach your full potential and unlock the door to your personal excellence, if you do not challenge yourself to see just what exactly you are capable of. Your body and mind are capable of so many incredible things, if you overcome fear and self doubt, then you will discover the extent of your capability and strength.
There is no greater feeling than accomplishment. Passing your driver's test, putting your two year old to sleep, completing that work proposal on time, running your first 5K race – these are all victories. Taking pride in your efforts will lift your mood. You will learn to be happier with yourself no matter how big or small your victories are.
And to note, it is completely okay if you do not fulfil all of these “challenging goals”. The fact is, by setting these goals, you are challenging yourself to do more: setting the bar higher and seeing many of the same benefits as a result. You will also reveal personal qualities you did not even know existed.
The challenging goal that I have set myself for this summer is to trek 67 kilometres to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I will be hiking between 4 to 12 hours a day for a total of 7 days. With no access to running water, showers, and even mobile phones – I will most definitely be stepping leaping, outside of my comfort zone. Connecting with nature and disconnecting with my routine world. I am hoping that the lessons which I will learn from this experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I have partnered with a UK based Charity PKCF in order to provide support to Orphan and Street Children in Iran. If you are interested in supporting the charity you can find the link here: www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ghazal
Published on Qatar Happening, July 2017 issue.